For New Students

Welcome to UC Berkeley!

students smiling in the UC Berkeley student food coop

UC Berkeley peers invite you to the Student Food Collective at 2440 Bancroft Way. The collective offers organic and locally sourced products.

Getting Your Bearings

Oski bear walking on campus

Get to know your new campus by taking a sustainability walking tour! During GBO, our Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows lead these tours and offer workshops. Berkeley campus works to continuously reduce our environmental impact. Students lead the way in making Berkeley Zero Waste by 2020, and in saving energy to become Carbon Neutral by 2025.

What can you do? When you arrive, unpack your reusable water bottle and get familiar with the composting bin in your room - use them often.  Enjoy the locally-sourced and sustainable food in the dining halls. Turn off unneeded lights and take shorter showers. Getting around is easy with your transit Class Pass, on campus shuttles or by bike.  Still working on your class schedule? Look through our list of sustainability related courses. Or volunteer to improve the habitat around Strawberry Creek.

We want to make it easy for you to join us and engage with our community of sustainability.

Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer? Here are the sustainability related picks from the UC Berkeley 2018 summer reading list:

Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science

Philippe Squarzoni

Squarzoni’s graphic memoir recounts his experience in coming to understand the immensity of our changing climate. Not only does the book inform readers of these enormous changes, it also illustrates how it is we come to understand new and life-altering ideas. One of my students said after reading Squarzoni’s memoir that she felt “changed.” Squarzoni provides no easy answers, but he does open our eyes to some of the most pressing concerns of our day.


Annie Proulx

Annie Proulx inspires the reader to think about the love of archival research involved in writing this kind of historical novel. She also leaves us with something like an obsession with trees, branches, leaves, massive tree trunks, and a longing for woods and forests. A story of the ecological devastation of the forests of North America, this honest and delicate exploration of relations between European settlers and Native American groups encourages healing.


Updated September 2018

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Points of Pride

  • 87% of students walk, bike or take public transit to campus.

  • Student fees funded over $2 million for 216 sustainability projects and 360 internships in the last 10 years.

  • Berkeley offers over 600 courses which contain a social, economic and/or environmental sustainability theme.

  • Chou Hall is the first academic building in the country to be Zero Waste Certified.

  • In 2017, we installed our first solar panels on 5 buildings, generating a total of 1 megawatt of green energy.

Students gardening

Students gardening on campus

students sitting in the sun near campanile

Students enjoying a sunny day near the campanile